The old car hobby, like most other hobbies, is one best enjoyed with friends. Any activity or interest that can be shared with other like-minded people tends to be one that is enjoyed more fully.
When my MGB came into my life in 1996, my younger brother (also an MGB owner) made sure that I had an application for membership for the South Alabama British Car Club. My first general membership meeting with the group verified for me that I was in with the kind of people that I wanted to know. I met machinists, lawyers, teachers, students and retired people that shared my interests and found pleasure in many of the things I did.
At my first club event—a family picnic—I drove my tatty new (to me) MGB and I was immediately struck by how much the club members wanted to help me with it. Most of the gauges were non-functioning, as were the turn signals. In a matter of minutes the three heads under the bonnet found a couple of loose wires and solved my problem. Even though the car was a bit down at its heels, it was never judged as inferior to anyone’s car and it was always welcomed as warmly as the most perfectly restored museum quality car was.
I became active with the club, first as a member-at-large, then progressing to activities chairman and finally a stint as president. The entire time I was surrounded by people that simply enjoyed the hobby and each other’s company. In fact, I’ve made several trips with fellow club members to non-club events just because we became fast friends.
During my time as a club member, I’ve been able to help others with their projects, swap a few parts and find a bargain or two by networking with the members. I’ve also been the recipient of much generosity in the way of parts and advice.
If you’ve got a special interest automobile, there’s bound to be a local club that promotes your interests. Seek them out and become an active member.
– Rodney McDonald
Rodney is a past president of the South Alabama British Car Club and a lifetime British car enthusiast. He is interested in nearly all things automotive and enjoys watching road racing of all types. Currently, Rodney is the caretaker of a 1976 MGB roadster and a 1973 Austin Mini. He also has half interest in a 1969 Jaguar E-Type that was a Katrina victim.
Follow Rodney’s “Positive Earth” blog at www.sabcc.blogspot.com